Thursday, February 12, 2015

Escaping With Our Lives, Almost

Journal 5/27/2005: (Thurs.) On the road.

A voice called out from an open but dark window. “I already called the cops! Don’t be poaching around here at night dammit. I ain’t having it, that or punk assed kids horsing around on that old train bridge while drunk.”

The body near me spoke in a hushed but clear voice. “We better scram outta here whoever you are, cause I won’t be doin’ no time in juvy ain’t it.”

A half eaten moon gave us the light we needed to booger off limping, me with a busted toe and him with a twisted knee. A frayed rope dangled from his neck and trailed behind as I used the emptied shotgun as a crutch. What a sight so many years ago.

I chuckled out loud while recalling that old but vivid scene as I drove east on Highway 2 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was as if it happened yesterday and reminiscing of a time some 50 years earlier did my troubled heart good as I thought about the man named Clay Silver Otter, a guy I called friend and brother. 

“Ironic,” I thought, that a lasting friendship was born near train tracks, a place of guided journey, of destiny. The irony continued as I made my way to Lower Michigan to align my path with Clay’s. His path was now a foot trail where the proverbial reaper lurked about in the present as it had so many years before. Truly, reaper never let Clay alone.

Mental and emotional processing was interrupted when my cell phone vibrated and announced an incoming call with the ringtone tune of, “knock, knock, knocking on a heavenly door”, one dedicated to Clay after hearing news of his imminent death.

I tapped the blue tooth button located on the back of my steering wheel expecting to hear Clay’s voice.
“Hellooo?” asked a female’s voice quizzically. “Is this Ain’t It?”

It was vaguely familiar so I made an assumption.

“Yes, this is Migizi. Who is this? Is that you His Special Gal?”

“No, this is His Special Gal. Who’s this? I need Ain’t It,” she answered.

An image flashed in my brain, one involving the old comedy duo of Abbott and Costello.

“This is Ain’t It,” I grumped and retorted impatiently.

“Yah, I guess so, jeez you ole grouch.”

I paused a moment as I considered the odd woman’s name, the only one she ever went by, and I marveled at her maintaining any connection with Clay. She had been his partner, more or less, maybe 30 years.

“Yes, what’s up? Is Clay alright?” I asked while acting more sincere than I was.

“He’s good enough to be a pain in my balls but hey, you on your way ain’t it? Hurry up! He’s drivin’ me crawly and I need a rest ain’t it. Oh crapola, he’s…”